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September 8th, 2014

PromptBoston

Tracking Tom Brady: How will this affect your Sundays?

Tracking Tom Brady: How will this affect your Sundays?

We often stop and think about the ways in which technology is changing our lives and as the years have gone by, frustrated sports fans have all-too-often been faced with game-time innovations their not sure how to feel about. Show of hands – who’s happy about instant replays finally making their way to the MLB?

Photo courtesy of: http://wickedtacosonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/football-by-keri-weiland.jpg

Photo courtesy of: http://wickedtacosonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/football-by-keri-weiland.jpg

As the football season kicks off and summer comes to a close, the National Football League (NFL) is taking steps to track its players. By wearing non-obtrusive tracking devices in shoulder pads, players will be analyzed in games and practices so teams, fans and the big organizations behind it all gain a better sense of individual performance – i.e. speed, position and accuracy.

Certainly, this type of tracking with take fantasy football to a whole new level but for those of us still watching simply for the love of the game – will this delude it even further? It’s no secret that the rise of fantasy drafts has changed the way fans watch and interact with the sport and, subsequently, the way the NFL presents it.

These tracking devices will present more data than ever thought possible to players, teams, managers and fans. It could impact trades, game-time decisions and rivalries. In short, it could change everything. As with every new innovation, the hot debate ensues – will it change for the better, or take a turn for the worse?

Let us know what you think on Twitter at @PromptBoston. Have a happy football season, America – whether you’re on the side of the devices or not!

 

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August 29th, 2013

PromptBoston

Prompt feedback on a Prompt project: Institute for Pediatric Innovation

Prompt feedback on a Prompt project: Institute for Pediatric Innovation

Prompt recently completed a web project for the Institute for Pediatric Innovation (IPI), a non-profit healthcare organisation founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts to improve outcomes care for vulnerable babies and children through new paediatric-specific technologies. Our consultants re-coded IPI’s website WordPress theme to improve page layout and allow greater user control of content with extra WordPress widgets and short codes.

Prompt London’s Sinead Gosai asked Ashley Carter, the communications contact we worked with at IPI, to reflect on her time working with Prompt:

Sinead: How was your general experience of working with Prompt?

Ashley: “Working with Prompt Boston was wonderful, even from the first phone call when we didn’t really know exactly what we were looking for.  The Prompt consultants were extremely helpful in pointing us in right direction and working closely with us to figure out the solutions that would best fit IPI’s needs. We greatly appreciate Prompt’s willingness to work with a small, non-profit organisation to help us accomplish our mission, and ensure we stayed within our budget.”

Sinead: We’re proud of the way that we work as a close team here – we believe that we can do a good job for our clients and be fun to work with! Would you agree

Ashley: “Yes, absolutely – Prompt’s PHP/HTML5 consultants were technically knowledgeable, friendly, patient and humorous! They worked step-by-step with us, explaining things such as page layout technology and browser compatibility, and then taking each of our edits and suggestions into consideration. As well as overhauling our new website, the Prompt team was committed to providing hands-on training for our employees, so that we can take on the task of maintaining and updating our website in the future. This will be instrumental in helping the site grow as our organisation develops, allowing us to continue representing our mission and our brand with a strong web presence.”

Sinead: Finally, how do you feel about the completed project?

Ashley: “We are thrilled! It’s met our online web goals and gives our organisation the update we needed. Thank you!”

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July 12th, 2013

PromptBoston

Results are in: The most creative way to ‘connect the lots’ between CIC buildings is..

Results are in: The most creative way to ‘connect the lots’ between CIC buildings is..

As we mentioned in one of our earlier blog posts, the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), our Prompt Boston home, has expanded and we’ve made the move from One Broadway to 101 Main Street. As a technology PR firm, CIC is an ideal setting to work in, with hundreds of start-ups and technology-focused companies.

While getting settled into our new office building on 101 Main Street, and frequently traveling the 200 paces between both buildings, we asked our readers to share some of their creative solutions for connecting the two CIC buildings.

CIC is filled to the brim with innovators. So the great responses we received were no surprise. Some of the best #CICWalkway replies we saw were:

– Rebecca wanted to sail through the skies with a Tramway, ‘a la Roosevelt Island’
– B-Social Law was also looking for a view, wanting to turn the well-known CIC British phone booths into ‘ski gondolas’, and also suggested Pteronodon Flyers ride for a dinosaur-themed thrill
– Geoff Mamlet, a Harry Potter enthusiast, suggested the magic of floo powder
– Mitchell Bragg suggested sled dogs during the Boston winter and then magic carpets in the warmer months

CIC Phone boothAfter much deliberation, the Prompt Boston office has made its final choice. The winner of some great local eats from our two favorite establishments on our walk between buildings – Dunkin Donuts or Firebrand Saints – is B-Social Law!

We had an office-wide secret ballot to vote for the winner. With London counterparts, and an urge to soar (plus we could make phone calls at the same time!), we couldn’t resist the idea of hopping into a phone booth ski lift to get from our office to CIC’s Venture Café. A huge thanks goes out to everybody who had some fun with us, and we look forward to hearing more of your thoughts as we settle into our new home.

B-Social Law – claim your prize today! Reach out to us via  Twitter, Facebookemail or phone at (617)-401-2717! 

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July 8th, 2013

PromptBoston

Three reasons why we use, encourage our technology PR clients to use, and train people to use WordPress

Three reasons why we use, encourage our technology PR clients to use, and train people to use WordPress

wordpress logoWe’ve already blogged about the importance of establishing a company blog.  You may be considering which platform to host your blog on – and we would recommend your answer be WordPress – and here’s why.

WordPress really has come a long way since it was considered a basic blogging platform. With plug-ins, new features and other enhancements, it has become the premier content management system, with over 68 million pages on the Web run on WordPress today.

Three reasons why we use, encourage our clients to use, and train people on WordPress:

Ease of use:  The best advice has always been to keep it simple. WordPress does this fabulously – allowing users to post content in visual or HTML text version. Whether you’re a diehard coder or an amateur, these options are designed to cater to all levels of experience.

Enhancing SEO:  WordPress’ blog code attracts Google robots and other magnets, helping boost your SEO and webpage traffic. With the right setup and plug ins (we like Yoast SEO), the platform will tell you just how high you rank when it comes to search terms and keywords, and where you can improve.

Seamless with social media:  With the right plugins, WordPress can post new content directly to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. As a PR firm with experience in social media, we can’t stress the importance of cross promoting on social networks, and this WordPress feature now makes it easier than ever to do so.

Want to try it for yourself? Then head to wordpress.org to install WordPress. Want some pointers?  Then join our  Google Hangout tomorrow at 2pm EDT or, if you’re in the Boston area, sign up for our ‘(Successfully) Wrestle with WordPress over a weekend‘ courses.

More reasons to follow tomorrow!

 

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July 1st, 2013

PromptBoston

Boston technology PR team ponders: How to ‘connect the lots’ at CIC …

Boston technology PR team ponders: How to ‘connect the lots’ at CIC …

Cambridge Innovation Center has recently expanded its business location, One Broadway, to a new building on 101 Main Street, just around the corner.

The technology PR team at Prompt Boston used to be based in the old building at One Broadway, but we can’t resist the lure of a new, shiny building, not to mention an amazing 14th-floor view of the Boston skyline and the Charles River (see below).  Plus, we’ll be back in close proximity to some of the amazingly talented individuals and brilliant companies that we got to know while they were based in our old building.

Boston view

Earlier this week, while we were making the increasingly frequent trip between One Broadway to 101 Broadway, we got to thinking: seeing that the CIC community is all about innovation, what are the most innovative ways that the two buildings could be connected? Zipline? Secret underground passageway?

We’re open to suggestions, and the person who comes up with the most fun suggestion wins a $50 voucher to one of the eateries* we pass on our Broadway-101 commute (I say commute, it’s about 200 paces). You can add your suggestion to our Facebook page, or tweet it to us at @PromptBoston with the hashtag #CICwalkway.

* So that’s Dunkin Donuts or Firebrand Saints!

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June 26th, 2013

PromptBoston

Prompt Boston launches weekend WordPress training courses

Prompt Boston launches weekend WordPress training courses

Here at Prompt Communications, we like writing, blogging and writing about blogging. Of course, when it comes to blogging, you have one important decision to make: which platform to use. We have a leaning towards WordPress, which has really come a long way since the days when it was a merely a basic blogging platform – now it’s a kick-something (we’re sure you can think of the word) content management system behind tens of millions of web pages.

As a technology PR firm we find that an increasing number of our clients agree with us, and WordPress is being used by a large number of companies – small or large –  to host blogs, websites, and more.

We’re spoilt to have our very own WordPress developer, Malachy (aka ‘Max’) McConnell, who really appreciates and understands the PHP lurking behind WordPress, and is eager to pass on his knowledge.

Whatsmore, Max will be paying a visit to Boston very soon to help us launch the Boston-based version of our ‘(Successfully) Wrestle with WordPress over a weekend‘ course. Having mastered the workshop at our London offices, Max will offer Boston attendees the know-how needed to utilize the site seamlessly from the ground up, over the course of two short days.

Why should your company learn WordPress? A few reasons include: ease of use, SEO enhancement, seamless social media integration, new media sharing, improved security, and the ever-convenient post scheduling.

Interested in learning how to improve your busniness’ web presence? Join Max for the ‘(Successfully) Wrestle with WordPress over a weekend‘at the Cambridge Innovation Center in Cambridge, MA on July 13-14 or July 20-21. Limimted tickets are available via the Prompt Communications website or Eventbrite

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June 12th, 2013

PromptBoston

Prompt Boston attends Mass Innovation Night, #MIN51

Prompt Boston attends Mass Innovation Night, #MIN51

As a group of technology-savvy PR consultants, we’re fortunate to be located in a city full of innovation. With offices in Kendall Square, right across the river from the heart of Boston, we regularly brush shoulders with innovative individuals, start-ups and groups who are looking to launch a new idea into the marketplace that could completely change the way we think and act.

One event in the area that does a phenomenal job of gathering such innovators together is Mass Innovation Nights (MIN). Launched in April 2009, the monthly event showcases ten comMass Innovation Nights MIN51panies, and the community turns out to visit vendor booths, promote the products via social media and sit in on pitch presentations. In the last two years alone, MIN has helped launch more than 475 products and connect many job seekers with hiring managers.

Last night, Prompt Boston attended the 51st MIN at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center (better known as the NERD Center). As soon as we entered and put on our flashing #MIN51 pin, which read ‘I helped launch 500 new products!’, we got the chance to learn more about some up-and-coming local innovators, including:

–       Agency Spotter: This integrated platform makes finding a creative agency a quick and easy process. Simply enter the type of agency you are looking for, and voila! In minutes, a refined search appears, taking the search process “from months to minutes”.

–       Delightfully: If you’re an online shopper and like sending e-gifts, this interactive webpage is just for you. Think of Delightfully as digital gift wrapping, where you can compile your favorite photos and content to present a customized e-gift.

–       Equiso Smart TV: This thumb-sized device plugs into TV screens and projectors to create a smart, interactive viewing experience. From Angry Birds, to Pandora and Pinterest, the Equiso Smart TV gives viewers access to 700,000 apps in the Google Play Store – right on a large HD TV screen.

–       Fuzzycover: Want a fun, creative way to protect your tablet, e-reader, iPhone and spiral bound notebook? Fuzzycover’s protective covers are the perfect solution, and are available in animal prints, cool colors, fuzzy or leather-bound material.

The event also featured delicious drink samples from Izze, and was topped off with Equiso Smart TV receiving the most votes as the best product at MIN51. It was a night full of innovation, networking and support for local start-ups, and we hope to relive it all again next month.

For more information on Mass Innovation Nights, be sure to visit the website here or read founder Bobbie Carlton’s round-up of the event on MIN’s blog. For those on Twitter, be sure to read all of the event’s tweets by searching #MIN51 or read the corresponding Storify piece here.

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May 29th, 2013

Prompt Communications wins Equiso public relations account

Prompt Communications wins Equiso public relations account

Prompt Boston to lead US media relations campaign for maker of streaming, gaming and browsing SmartTV Stick

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Prompt Boston, the Massachusetts office of Prompt Communications, a public relations and digital communications agency specializing in innovative markets including high-technology and green-tech, has won a new contract with Equiso, the developer of the SmartTV Stick.

Equiso’s SmartTV Stick transforms televisions, screens and projectors into web-connected Android 4.0 devices with access to a range of popular media channels and apps, including HBO Go, Hulu, Netflix, Crackle and Vudu. Along with streaming movies, TV shows and sports, the low-cost ($78), high-quality stick gives users unrestricted access to the Google Play store, with 500,000 games and apps.

EquisoThe company is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its SmartTV Stick was launched via a Kickstarter project which received the support of nearly 3,000 backers, who collectively more than doubled the company’s initial $100,000 goal.

Prompt is a digital PR consultancy with offices in Boston, London and San Francisco. With extensive experience in high-tech, including applications, services, software and hardware, Prompt has worked with start-ups to global software and technology companies including Oracle Corporation, Capgemini and IBM.

Prompt Prompt will work to increase recognition of Equiso as the company distributes its SmartTV Stick online and increases its presence with retailers. Working with Equiso’s management team, Prompt will drive a targeted PR campaign based on media outreach and analyst relations to support and demonstrate Equiso’s sales, market position and thought leadership.

Adam McBride, CEO of Equiso, said: “Prompt’s proven record of successfully working with high-tech start-ups, coupled with its Cambridge-based office that allows for desk-next-door communications, made selecting a PR firm an easy choice. Consumers across the US are looking to cut the cable cord, and the momentum we are seeing is testimony to that. With Prompt’s PR strategy, we hope to continue reaching new audiences while transforming the future of streaming, gaming and browsing.”

Hazel Butters, CEO of Prompt, said: “Equiso has a fascinating Kickstarter background, a talented management team, and a strong, relevant product. Consumers want to access apps, the internet and new programs over their TVs – the dumb TV’s days are numbered. Equiso’s SmartTV Stick gives consumers an affordable alternative without any extra cable boxes or cords. Prompt is looking forward to driving media recognition and consumer awareness around such an innovative product.”

About Equiso
Equiso.com, Inc. is an innovator of digital media platforms that leverage the convergence of internet and entertainment. Its flagship product, the Equiso SmartTV Stick transforms televisions, screens and projectors into fully-featured web-connected Android devices with access to media channels and apps including Crackle, HBO Go, Hulu, Netflix and Vudu. The device gives users full access to the Google Play store and its 500,000 games and apps, while the affordable and intuitive open platform accelerates consumer adoption of new media by lowering barriers to access. www.equiso.com

About Prompt Communications
Prompt is a communications agency that enables marketers and entrepreneurs to increase their sales and marketing effectiveness. Specializing in innovative markets including technology and healthcare, Prompt helps clients communicate effectively and authentically with core audiences online and offline through PR, media relations, copywriting, webinars, market and industry analysis, social media, video content and customer programs. Founded in 2002, Prompt Communications has US offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California and European offices in London. Prompt’s experience includes Adeptra, Adobe Systems Incorporated, Aperture, Corizon, Dell|Compellent, Foviance, Genesys Telecommunications, IBM, Integralis, jovoto, KANA, Oracle Corporation, smartFOCUS and Webtide. www.prompt-communications.com

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May 22nd, 2013

Prompt Communications appointed by Integralis to drive US media relations

Prompt Communications appointed by Integralis to drive US media relations

 Prompt leads North American public relations program for a leading provider of IT security and information risk management solutions 

Boston, MA – Prompt Communications, a transatlantic public relations and digital communications agency with experience in the high-tech, sustainability and healthcare markets, has been selected by Integralis Inc. to lead its North American media outreach program.

Integralis logoHeadquartered in Ismaning, Germany, Integralis offers IT security and information risk management solutions to clients around the world. Integralis provides a complete end-to-end security solution that incorporates initial assessments, policy planning and hands-on deployment with 24×7 management and support.

The company has a rich portfolio of managed security, business infrastructure, consulting and technology integration services, combining to reduce overall business costs and risk. Integralis solutions address the needs of customers spanning every vertical sector, focusing on multinational enterprise clients. 

Heather Antoinetti, director of marketing for Integralis said: “As a global provider of IT security services with a growing presence in North America, we wanted a communications agency that both specialized in high-tech and had a dynamic presence in the US and overseas. Prompt has a proven track record in these areas, and we look forward to expanding our brand presence and thought leadership through a US-based public relations campaign built around quality press outreach and rich customer relationships.”

Prompt’s CEO Hazel Butters said: “Prompt is thrilled to partner with Integralis to further its brand reputation in North America and beyond. Integralis delivers end-to-end offerings that provide enterprises in every sector with intelligent ways to manage risk. Inevitable trends in cloud, social, mobile and BYOD technology models are challenging all modern businesses to meet new and intricate security challenges with smarter solutions. It is our pleasure to be appointed by a company that addresses the complex risks associated with fresh trends in every market.”

About Integralis

Integralis provides IT Security and Information Risk Management solutions on a global basis. The company delivers a portfolio of managed security, business infrastructure, consulting and technology integration services. Integralis’ solutions help organizations lower IT costs and increase the depth of security protection, compliance and service availability. Integralis is headquartered in Ismaning, Germany and part of the NTT Communications Group, owned by NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation), one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. www.integralis.com

About Prompt Communications

Prompt is a communications agency that enables marketers to increase their sales and marketing effectiveness.  Specializing in innovative markets including sustainability, technology and healthcare, Prompt helps its clients communicate authentically with core audiences online and offline through PR, media relations, copywriting, market and industry analysis, social media, video content and customer reference programs. Founded in 2002, Prompt has US offices in Boston and San Francisco, and European offices in London. Prompt’s current and former clients include Adeptra, Adobe Systems Incorporated, Corizon, Dell|Compellent, Foviance,  GenSight, Grouptree, IBM, Ipswitch File Transfer, jovoto, KANA, Oracle Corporation, smartFOCUS and Webtide. www.prompt-communications.com

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May 16th, 2013

PromptBoston

Pitch it perfectly with Prompt: Come visit us at CIC’s Venture Café Office Hours

Pitch it perfectly with Prompt: Come visit us at CIC’s Venture Café Office Hours

Venture CafeAre you looking to spark genuine, valuable, press interest and conversation around your technology product, app or service? It’s certainly not an easy task, but we’re here to help.

On Thursday, May 23, 2013 Prompt Communications will be hosting ‘Office Hours’ at the Cambridge Innovation Center’s Venture Café event, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. We’ll be ready to discuss what you need to do to gain the media and audience visibility that your company deserves. Come along for a 20-minute tech PR consulting session with Prompt CEO Hazel Butters and get to grips with the objectives, strategies, and tactics that work best for catching the eyes of the press.

With years of experience in the technology sector, Prompt consultants know how to perfectly tailor your PR approach to garner the best results. Are you struggling to identify your target audience? No problem. Would you like to ramp up your core messaging? We’ve got you covered. Simply don’t know where to start? We’ll help you take those first steps.

After just 20 minutes you will walk away with valuable resources from our very own tech PR toolkit, which you can then customize to fit your exact PR needs. Please come equipped with any and all questions you can think of – we can’t wait to answer them!

To put us on your calendar or to learn more information about the Prompt Communications office hours, please visit the Venture Café website.

*This event will take place at the Venture Café, located at the Cambridge Innovation Center, One Broadway, 4th Floor. Visitors must comply with Venture Cafe attendance policies (see http://bit.ly/vc-credo for more details).

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May 3rd, 2013

PromptBoston

Innovation Nation: Celebrating a proud pioneering tradition

Innovation Nation: Celebrating a proud pioneering tradition

Massachusetts, and the twin cities of Boston and Cambridge in particular, has been a thriving hotbed of innovation and pioneering spirit since its very foundation. From Harvard intellectuals to ground-breaking glass and ink industrialists, from the earliest computing visionaries to modern green tech and life science visionaries, innovation has always been second nature in this part of the world.

To celebrate the vibrancy, optimism and can-do determination of business and individuals that still thrives in the area today, Prompt Communications has decided to produce a series of short videos showcasing the rich talents of start-ups operating out of the Cambridge Innovation Center.

We’re interviewing truly inspiring, innovative businesses at CIC, and can’t wait to share the passion and enthusiasm they have for their products and markets with you. We’ll reveal what makes the people behind these organizations tick, what fuels their ideas, and how they became so ambitious and driven to succeed.

Join us as we showcase our nation’s greatest innovations, and celebrate the proud pioneering spirit of some of the most exciting businesses in operation today.

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May 2nd, 2013

PromptBoston

Prompt interviews….

Prompt interviews….

Peter Ryder, co-author of Crowdstorm: The Future of Innovation, Ideas, and Problem Solving


Peter Ryder

Here at Prompt we’re all committed PR and comms advocates, so we relish any innovative ideas designed to shake up markets, capture the attention of investors and prospects, and make a company stand out from even the toughest competitors.

While many companies still look inwardly for ideas and feedback from their own colleagues, growing numbers of successful innovations are now being driven by crowdsourcing; turning to the public for contributions in the form of thoughts, funding or critique.

This week, we caught up with Peter Ryder, a friend of Prompt and co-author of Crowdstorm: The Future of Innovation, Ideas, and Problem Solving. In this ‘Prompt interviews’ session, Jessica Branco of the Prompt Boston team caught up with Peter to discuss the opportunities, benefits and challenges of crowdsourcing, and to hear further details about his new book. It was also a chance to discuss why so many organizations from startups to Fortune 500 firms are now turning to crowdsourcing to share the wisdom of thousands of outsiders in uncovering new ideas and innovations.

Prompt Boston: Can you please tell us more about your background, and how you became interested in crowdsourcing?

Peter Ryder: I worked for many years as a consultant at Accenture, Computer Sciences Corporation and Deloitte Consulting helping clients improve their operations and their relationships with their customers by rethinking their processes and enabling these process changes through technology.  I saw how organizations often sub-optimized their business by relying on assumptions that were no longer completely valid.  Testing underlying assumptions was a first step to rethinking approaches to unlocking value. In 2010 I became President of jovoto, Inc., a start-up that connects companies who are looking for ideas with creative talent anywhere who have ideas.  At that time, a number of companies were beginning to look seriously at crowdsourcing.  With Web 2.0 really kicking in the mid to late 2000s massively reduced transaction costs tested why an organization needed to hire full time employees for all tasks — some jobs might be done by multiple people with expertise and perspective not found in the organization.  Organizations like P&G, GE and LEGO were exploring how to access talent anywhere to help them work on some of their pressing challenges more rapidly.  And new start-up companies like Quirky were building crowds into the very fabric of their business models. At jovoto, we worked on what processes, community management and technology needed to be in place for our customers to find innovative ideas using external talent.   But we were also seeing a morphing of crowdsourcing from a simple focus on getting ideas from external talent to organizations developing more complex interactions with crowds asking them to do multiple tasks, not only selecting ideas but engaging with communities to get feedback on ideas and helping them select ideas.  And, it was this interesting dynamic that led to writing the book.

What are the key benefits of crowdsourcing an idea, service or product?

CrowdstormWhat has been the most eye opening for companies with regards to benefits is that getting good ideas for a service or product is just the beginning.  Of course outcomes are key: If your Super Bowl ad is ranked in the top 10 ads, by multiple metrics, many years in a row, your ad has succeeded; If your product is selling successfully and winning design awards, your design has succeeded. And if you find new partners that result in value-creating partnerships, you have succeeded in your business development efforts. In each of these cases, we found examples resulting from crowdstorming. These outcomes come from Pepsi, Quirky (a consumer electronics startup) and GE Ecomagination. But an additional benefit comes from providing a mechanism for evaluating ideas.  Balanced with expert evaluation, you can ask crowds to help you vet the most promising ideas.  LEGO gets lots of ideas from the crowd for new products.  But it requires 10,000 votes from the LEGO community before the internal LEGO team will consider it for production. Finally, by posting a challenge to a crowd an organization can start a broad conversation that helps it pre-market a new product or service by turning idea creation into a conversation and a media event.

What is your advice to marketers who haven’t crowdsourced yet?

Do a little homework; look at some of the work that the organizations above have done.  It is not necessary to start at Super Bowl scale.  Choose a small project to test how your organization reacts to leveraging external talent.  In the book we talk about the processes and some of the best approaches for doing crowdstorm projects; it is important to become familiar with these and see how they apply to your organization.  If you feel like your organization would benefit from leveraging the skills of one of the many providers who are supporting crowdstorming, engage with them and tap into their experience, approaches and technology. Like any new approach, this requires that there is commitment from someone in the organization who can directly benefit from the outcome – make sure that sponsorship is in place.  Finally, marketing departments who have existing relationships with traditional creative providers can weave them into the project if they choose.  There are a number of different points where their expertise can help – from designing the brief to evaluating results.

How should marketers initially approach crowdsourcing?

As I said, education and sponsorship are critical to success.  Determine the scope of the project you initially want to work on.  Something well defined where the outcome can be measured or compared to a traditional approach can be helpful.  For example, when Victorinox designed a new limited edition of Swiss Army knives using crowdstorming, they benchmarked sales of the new product against previous launches. They fixed as many variables as they could and found that the crowdstormed limited edition knife resulted in a 20% increase in sales.  Marketers can also source a new campaign from a traditional provider and evaluate it against the same campaign sourced through crowdstorming as a test – the evaluation can come from experts and crowds in order to benchmark.  There are many ways to get going.

CrowdstormCrowdstorm: The Future of Innovation, Ideas, and Problem Solving is now available at all major bookstores and Amazon.com. The book covers all topics of crowdsourcing, including patterns (search pattern, collaborative pattern), processes, recruitment, creative problem solving techniques, management of crowds, social media, analytics, evaluation and much more.

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Posted in Boston, Innovation, Technology | 1 Comment »